Coronavirus may never go away, World Health Organization warns

Coronavirus may never go away, World Health Organization warns
WHO warned that the virus might not go away soon. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: The World Health Organization’s (WHO) emergencies director Dr Mike Ryan has warned against trying to predict when the virus would disappear. He was speaking at a press conference on Wednesday.

Even if a vaccine is found, controlling the virus will require a massive effort, he added.

More than 4.3 million people all over the world have been infected by the virus and global death toll passed 300,000.

The UN already warned that the pandemic and longer period lockdown was causing widespread distress and mental ill health – specially in countries where there’s a lack of investment in mental healthcare.

The UN urged governments to make mental health considerations part of their overall response.

What did WHO say?

Dr Ryan told the virtual press conference from Geneva: “It is important to put this on the table: this virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away.”

“HIV has not gone away – but we have come to terms with the virus,” he added.

He then predicted that he doesn’t believe “anyone can predict when this disease will disappear”.

Currently, there are more than 100 potential vaccines in development. But Dr Ryan pointed out that there are other illnesses, such as measles, that still haven’t been eliminated despite there being vaccines for them.

Though, Director-General of WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that it was still possible to control the virus, with effort.

“The trajectory is in our hands, and it’s everybody’s business, and we should all contribute to stopping this pandemic,” Mr Ghebreyesus said.

“We need to get into the mindset that it is going to take some time to come out of this pandemic,” WHO epidemiologist Maria van Kerkhove also told the briefing.

The World Health Organization warns officials’ stark remakes come as several countries began to gradually ease lockdown measures, and leaders of these countries consider the issue of how and when to reopen their economies.

The WHO Director-General warned that there was no guaranteed way of easing restrictions without triggering a second wave of infections.

Many countries would like to get out of the different measures, WHO boss said, adding that- but our recommendation is still the alert at any country should be at the highest level possible.”

“There is some magical thinking going on that lockdowns work perfectly and that unlocking lockdowns will go great. Both are fraught with dangers,” he added.

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